It’s easy to feel isolated and far away from our normal lives right now. I know I certainly miss community gatherings, visiting our public schools, and having dinner with close friends and neighbors. These inconveniences are necessary, and ultimately quite small, in contrast to the hardships our local businesses are enduring.

Last week, members of the Fairbanks Education Association came together to purchase gift cards from local restaurants to give to the COVID-19 Unit and Emergency Room staff at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. While purchasing these items I was overwhelmed by generosity of our local businesses as they donated additional gift cards on top of what we were able to purchase. Even during the most challenging economic times, these restaurant owners were prepared to dig into their own pockets to offer their thanks to our front line workers.

On behalf of the Fairbanks Education Association I want to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to our local businesses. You can show your appreciation too by ordering takeout, purchasing gift cards, and sharing your distance dining experiences on social media. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait for things to return to normal, but until then, let’s support our community, our healthcare workers, and the local businesses that are the heart and soul of Fairbanks.

(A special thank you to those businesses who donated extra items to our effort: Salty’s, DW Grill, Hungry Robot, Lemongrass, Red Fox, Sunrise Bagel and Espresso, Lavelle’s, Pagoda, and East Ramp Pizza).